Effects on Synthetic Organic Pigments. Dry Cleaning: Research and Practice. Back Matter Pages About this book Introduction This volume represents 27 peer-reviewed papers presented at the ICOP symposium which will help conservators and curators recognise problems and interpret visual changes on paintings, which in turn give a more solid basis for decisions on the treatment of these paintings. Editors and affiliations. Buy options. In self portraits, artists emphasized their dissolute nature by associating themselves with themes like the Five Senses and the Prodigal Son in the tavern.
One of the most effective manners for seventeenth-century Dutch painters for achieving pictorial depth within domestic settings was the so-called doorkijkje , or "see-through" doorway which permits the spectator to view something outside the pictured room, whether it be another room, a series of rooms, a hallway, a street, a canal, a courtyard or a garden. The doorkijkje offers the painter an opportunity to create a more complicated architectural space and contemporarily expand narrative.
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Nicolaes Maes — painted six versions of an idle servant eavesdropping or an encounter between a man and a maidservant glimpsed through an open door. However, no Dutch artist made use of this device more than Pieter de Hooch — in both interior and exterior scenes. In the Courtyard of a House in Delft , we see it in the sequence of full light on the foreground bricks, contrasting the quieter shade of the covered tiled passageway, and the open door to the sunlit street beyond.
The art historian Martha Hollander found that among more than paintings attributed to De Hooch, only twelve do not exhibit this technique of a doorkijkje revealing secondary and tertiary views to other rooms, courtyards or the street beyond. It has been pointed out that in the twentieth century, the Italian film director Luchino Visconti, somewhat as seventeenth-century Dutch painters were centuries before, was particularly fond of framing his actors through doorways doors in art and film or, on the contrary, by blocking our view onto another character we would like to see; so deliberately withholding information.
In all, Vermeer painted three doorkijkje motifs: the early A Maid Asleep , The Love Letter and lost work described in a auction catalogue as " In which a gentleman is washing his hands in a perspectival room with figures, artful and rare It is generally believed that Vermeer drew directly from doorkijkje paintings of Nicolaes Maes for his A Maid Asleep while the complicated compositional structure of his late Love Letter can be traced to Van Hoogstraten's The Slippers see image above or Pieter de Hooch's Couple with a Parrot. Although there is obviously no way to envision the lost doorkijkje , after A Maid Asleep Vermeer never again opened a view on another room beyond that in which the scene is set.
Doorsien is a Dutch word that literally means "plunge through. Doorsiens not only enhance the sense of depth in a picture but also helped the artist structure complex scenes with large numbers of figures, convincingly situating them on different planes. The Dutch painter and art theorist Karel van Mander — even criticized Michelangelo's Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel because it was lacking in sufficient depth. In his influential Schilder-boeck Painter book of , Van Mander wrote:. Our composition should enjoy a fine quality, for the delight of our sense, if we there allow a view [ insien ] or vista [ doorsien ] with small background figures and a distant landscape, into which the eyes can plunge.
We should take care sometimes to place our figures in the middle of the foreground, and let one see over them for many miles. He distinguishes perspecten from the natural opening provided by rocks and trees in landscapes but notes that they have the same effect. In various interiors by Vermeer there is evidence of another optical phenomenon which reveals the artist's keen interest in capturing the activity of light: the so-called double shadow.
These complex shadows are cast on back wall by objects close to it and caused by the light which enters simultaneously from two windows. For example, in The Music Lesson the wider shadow to the right of the black-framed mirror is caused by the near raking light entering from the window closest the background wall. But it is partially weakened—and here the double shadow appears—because light from the second window closer to the spectator enters the room at a less oblique angle and invades the most external part of the wider shadow.
In the same picture the lid of the opened virginal also creates a double shadow. Double shadows are also present in The Concert and A Lady Standing at a Virginal , The Guitar Player and, although more tentatively defined, in some of the artist's earlier interiors. By obscuring one of the two windows all double shadows are avoided.
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Since the top of the mirror leans a considerable distance out from the wall, the shadows would have been much wider and more angled and would have appeared as they now do only if the mirror had laid flat against the wall. According to Steadman, the artist evidently wanted to show both the reflection of his own vantage point in the mirror the painter's easel and canvas can be seen in the reflection and have the mirror appear to hang in a more normal, near-vertical position, requirements that are obviously incompatible in reality although they are made to look compatible in the painting.
The double shadow which descends downward from the window sill in A Lady Standing at a Virginal, however, is not caused by the light of two different windows. Although difficult to understand, the profile of the outermost shadow may have been caused by a building outside Vermeer's studio which blocked some of the light entering the studio. The inner most profile is caused by the light of the sky which descends from a higher angle, blocked by the thickness of the wall above the window frame. In Dutch painting double shadows were avoided as much as possible because they tend to create compositions that seem restless and confused.
Judging from the paucity of period art treaties and modern art historical literature that address the topic, one would never think that the representation of drapery has been one of the primary preoccupations in Western art from Classical time onward. In fact, until , it had not been the exclusive subject of any published work.
For the painter, the movements of drapery are nearly inexhaustible in their variety and capacity to suggest things other than itself. Drapery can be stretched softly to suggest peace, relaxation or the flow of nature, or taut, to suggest tension or alarm. Folded upon itself, drapery may convey shades of passion, confusion, wealth or sensuality. Vertical folds may convey strength while horizontal may convey repose and diagonal folds, movement.
Sometimes, drapery seems able to move by its own will. The high number of Renaissance and Baroque figure drawings that show the lavish attention bestowed to the actions of drapery but only a scarce few lines to define the anatomical features which emerge from them, attest to the wealth of aesthetic solutions which helped the painter develop narrative and mood.
It is impossible to imagine the splendor of color in European easel painting without drapery. The character of painted drapery is strongly linked to both the age in which it is painted and the individual artist who treats it. But one of the main attractions of drapery for the painter was technical. In all but the most meticulous forms or realism, the representation of drapery allows a freedom in paint handling that other motifs do not, and after the High Renaissance drapery is often painted in a looser stylistic register than that of the figure to which it belongs, without, however, disrupting illusionist verisimilitude.
Drapery is, perhaps, more easily imitated with the brush and paint than any other motif. In collaboration with the shape of the brush and the natural flow of paint , the anatomical articulations of the body favor easy, rhythmic back-and-forth movements of the arms and wrist that are particularly adapted for describing the sweeping curves and angular character of drapery's folds and flat planes. For artists who followed Titian's c. Members of the French Academy believed that the depictions of different kind of fabrics could potentially distract from the essence of painting, some praising the sober manner in which Nicolas Poussin — and Charles Le Brun — had depicted drapery.
Velvet, satin or taffeta should be avoided in favor of more generic, non reflective fabrics. Sir Joshua Reynolds — , who continued to defend the "grand style" of history painting well into the eighteenth century, wrote, "as the historical painter never enters into the details of colors, so neither does he debase his conceptions with minute attention to the discriminations of drapery. It is the inferior style that marks the variety of stuffs.
With him the clothing is neither woolen nor linen, nor silk, satin, nor velvet—it is drapery; it is nothing more. Drapery was a fundamental part of Vermeer's art. He employed colorful costumes to create mood and define the social standing of his sitters. He hung tapestries in the foreground to force spatial depth and energize his compositions.
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Anonymous tablecloths bridge differently shaped objects and conceal compositional distractions. Richly patterned imported carpets were thrown over tables to create compositional structures, sometimes geometrically shaped, but more frequently sculpted by deep valleys and tortuous folds to evoke the psychological states of his sitters.
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Their rich reds vibrate against the cool grays and pure blues which dominate the artist's palette. Marieke de Winkel, an expert in seventeenth-century Dutch fashion, published an interesting study regarding the identity and function of the costumes portrayed in Vermeer's scenes. It has been long debated if the outward flare of the fur-trimmed morning jackets that appear various times in the interiors of Vermeer is the result of pregnancy or fashion because this would have pivotal importance in assigning meaning to the pictures in which they occur.
Some critics have described the colors of Vermeer's costumes, especially those painted with natural ultramarine, and a few have noted how the realistic folds of the works of the s gradually succumb to the heavily stylization of the late works. Pencil, pen, ink, charcoal or other similar mediums on paper or other support, tending toward a linear quality rather than mass, and also with a tendency toward black-and-white, rather than color.
It seems somewhat surprising that not even a single preparatory or finished drawing by Vermeer has survived. One would expect that such meticulously balanced compositions and problematic perspectives could be most efficiently resolved through preparatory drawings which would allow the artist to easily correct any errors. There were many ways to transfer drawings efficiently and accurately to canvas.
Only scant traces have remained of the initial drawing methods on Vermeer's canvases although evidence seems to suggest that it was deliberate and controlled. It was once thought that Vermeer revealed some of his own working procedures, including his drawing methods, in The Art of Painting. On a toned canvas the artist represented in Vermeer's picture has laid in the contours of the model in white paint or chalk and has begun to paint in various shades of blue the laurel leaves.
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However, there exist many discrepancies between real working habits seen in representations of painters' studios of seventeenth-century and those illustrated in The Art of Painting. While some of the indications given by The Art of Painting of the painter's technique may be factual, others may have a more symbolic function and in any case they do not seem to correspond closely to what were most likely Vermeer's own methods.
This is one of the major cracks in the paint layer. Also called "alligatoring. A drying oil is an oil that hardens to a tough, solid film after a period of exposure to air. The oil hardens through a chemical reaction in which the components crosslink and hence, polymerize by the action of oxygen not through the evaporation of water, turpentine or other solvents.
Drying oils are a key component of oil paint and some varnishes. The more drying oil is introduced into paint , the more the paint becomes transparent and glossy. Some commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, poppy seed oil and walnut oil. Each oil has distinct mixing and drying properties and each creates a different type of film when it dries. The use of drying oils has somewhat declined over the past several decades, as they have been replaced by alkyd resins.
Nondrying oils are mineral oils and vegetable oils, such as peanut oil and cottonseed oil, that resemble animal fats and, because they do not oxidize naturally and harden, are unsuitable as a binder for paint. Dummy boards the actual term is a nineteenth-century invention are life-size flat figures painted on wooden panels and shaped in outline to resemble figures of servants, soldiers, children and animals. On the other side, dummy boards are fitted with a wooden support that allows them to stand upright in corners, doorways and on stairways to surprise visitors.
Dummy boards continued to be produced well into the nineteenth century. Many later dummy boards were made by professional sign painters. A number or artists tried their hands at these "eye foolers" oogenbedriegers , and their works were also in great demand abroad. Cornelius Gijsbrechts c. In he probably resided in Breslau presently Wroclaw in Poland.
The painter and art writer Samuel van Hoogstraten — is noted to have kept many such eye foolers strewn around his house.